Finger Rolls: Improve Your Finger Dexterity and Grip Strength

Finger Rolls are a simple move that has become a part of my forearm routine. I’m sure it can help you, too. This involves moving a barbell/dumbbell up and down across the curve of your fingers in your hand.

Unlike forearm curls or other grip exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, finger rolls focus solely on the tiny but crucial finger muscles.

The finger roll specifically targets the muscles responsible for finger flexion. It is particularly effective for improving dexterity, finger strengthening, and grip strength.

A solid grip and strong fingers are beneficial for grasping, holding, or manipulating objects, such as weightlifting, rock climbing, and everyday tasks.

How To Do Barbell Finger Rolls

Barbell Finger Rolls
  1. Sit on a bench or chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a barbell with a supinated grip (palms facing up). Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lower the barbell as far as possible by extending your fingers, allowing them to roll down your hands.
  4. When the barbell reaches your fingertips, use your finger flexors to catch it before it falls out of your hands.
  5. Curl the barbell back up by flexing your fingers and re-gripping it firmly. This completes one repetition.
  6. Do 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets with light to medium weight.

Tips and Form

  • Roll the barbell down in one smooth motion without jerking or hitching.
  • Begin with a very light weight or even just the barbell itself.
  • Breathe deeply: exhale on the curl up, inhale on the roll down.
  • Finger flexors are small muscles, so it’s important not to overwork them. Start with a few sets and gradually increase the volume over time.
  • If you don’t have access to a barbell, you can do the same exercise with a pair of dumbbells.
  • Extend your fingers completely at the bottom of the movement and fully flex them at the top. This will ensure that you’re working through a full range of motion.

Standing Barbell Finger Roll: Video Illustration

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